The press is shocked, shocked! Roger Clemens named in Grimsley steroid affidavit

October 1st, 2006 → 5:16 pm @ // 8 Comments

You remember Jason Grimsley, right? Back in June, the Diamondbacks reliever was busted by federal agents when he signed for a shipment of human growth hormone; within days, he’d given an affidavit in which he named a bunch of names of MLB players who’d recommended PED regimens and/or used the drugs themselves.

Well, as Will Leitch predicted, the names in those affidavits didn’t stay blacked out for long. Today’s Los Angeles Times has a report in which they reveal those players: Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, who played with Grimsely on the Yankees, and Miguel Tejada, Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons, who played with Grimsely on the Orioles. (David Segui, now retired, has already told ESPN he was one of the names in the Grimsley affidavit.) Grimsley, according to the Times piece, met his first steroid supplier through former Yankees trainer Brian McNamee, who remains Clemens’s and Pettitte’s personal strength coach.

Anyone who’s followed Clemens’s remarkable career shouldn’t be completely surprised by this. (As Buster Olney wrote earlier today, Clemens’s name was not “being whispered on background” after the Grimsley affidavit, “it was being shouted behind the scenes.”) Before the start of this season, Clemens had the best winning percentage of any pitcher after age 40, the third best ERA, the third best walks plus hits per nine innings, the third best hits per nine innings, the second best strikeouts per nine innings, and the fifth most strikeouts. Save for K/9, Clemens’s post-40 numbers are all better than those he put up from ages 21 through 39. The question is, why hasn’t someone looked into this possibility before?

Olney thinks the fact that Clemens’s name is in the affidavit won’t affect whether or not he returns next year. If true, I think that’s a sign of arrogance, although Olney clearly disagrees. But it should affect whether or not the Red Sox pursue Clemens in the offseason, as they did before before the ’06 season and at this summer’s trade deadline. As Jerry Remy noted in last night’s broadcast, the media coverage of the Red Sox is unique: “It’s probably the only place in the country where there’s a baseball story in both papers every single day of the offseason.” A PED scandal in Boston would make the tempest surrounding Manny’s knee injury seem like a decorous meeting of the local library lovers club.

Clemens will get a lot of scrutiny, and a lot of criticism, over the coming days and weeks. (Can you imagine what it would have been like had the Astros made the playoffs?) But this is a black mark on more than just a handful of players. It hasn’t been long since the country’s sportswriters made massive mea culpas — with special reports, investigative articles, and tendentious broadcasts — promising that never again would they turn a blind eye to players who mysteriously bulk up or show odd performance spikes. And yet there’s been very few questions asked of Jason Giambi concerning his remarkable return to his peak performances…which occurred during a time in which Giambi has acknowledged he was using steroids. And there’s been nary a published peep about Clemens.

Back in June, Jeff Pearlman asked, in Slate, why the country’s sportswriters were pretending that the steroid era was over. It was a good question then. It’s an even better — and more embarrassing one — now.


Post Categories: Jason Giambi & Jason Grimsley & Obvious references to Casablanca & Roger Clemens & Sports Reporters & Steroids

8 Comments → “The press is shocked, shocked! Roger Clemens named in Grimsley steroid affidavit”


  1. woodstock

    11 years ago

    I guess Clemens can take the first few months of the 2007 season cleaning out his system and then make another “comeback”.

    Reply

  2. yazdog8

    11 years ago

    Back in June, Jeff Pearlman asked, in Slate, why the country’s sportswriters were pretending that the steroid era was over. It was a good question then. It’s an even better — and more embarrassing one — now.

    I think this question was answered with great depth in the book that broke the grand jury about the BALCO case and in “Juicing the Game” by Howard Bryant. Sports reporters are at the absolute mercy of locker room access. To upset that is to risk certain career death. And I don’t know too many people that are willing to commit that kind of suicide.

    We all know that the MLB testing policy is a joke. But then again so is baseball leadership.

    Reply
  3. […] Clemens Is Named in Drug Affidavit (Los Angeles Times) Clemens, Pettitte deny drug accusations (Houston Chronicle) The press is shocked, shocked! Roger Clemens named in Grimsley steroid affidavit (Seth Mnookin) Rocket Targeted (New York Daily News) Clemens and Pettitte Strongly Deny Grimsley Accusations (Sam Houston – Throwing Heat) Segui Says Feds Asked about Retired Stars (USA Today) […]

    Reply

  4. GRG

    11 years ago

    I would imagine the sports press is going to be very careful about mentioning alleged ‘roid users, these days. Any reporter with ‘inside’ sources in cases under investigation might be called into court, especially with a grand jury involved. I have to wonder if Lance Pugmire (the reporter from the LA Times) who authored the report on Clemens et al. won’t be getting a call from a judge one of these days (ala Williams and Fainaru-Wada). I don’t believe this is a grand jury item now, but it does sound like a ‘leak’.

    Reply

  5. Nordberg

    11 years ago

    It should be noted that Clemens offered no denial.
    Pettitte said he had never used anything.
    Clemens said he had never failed a test. Of course, there is no test for HGH.
    I am not splitting hairs, here.
    Something stinks. The press will chase Bonds but not Clemens, and let Giambi off the hook.

    Reply

  6. austinregister

    11 years ago

    Why is anyone surprised at allegations against Clemens? Don’t you remember him from the “Zest” soap commercials in the early 80’s (Zestfully clean!)?… He was 180 pounds soaking wet (literally!)… And now, he’s 235 pounds? Just look at him. This guy is on serious HGH’s or something else, and I’m just surprised that it took so long before someone blurted his name out. Hope he gets what’s coming…

    Reply

  7. HFXBOB

    11 years ago

    In Canada we lost our PED virginity in the 1988 Olympics when Ben Johnson tested positive for steroids. This led to an investigation called the Dubin Inquiry. The highlight of the inquiry was the testimony of a sprinter named Angella Issajenko. She gave us the straight goods. One of the things she talked about was what users were told to say when accused: ‘Deny, deny, deny’.

    We know now that use of PED’s has been widespread. I think the focus should move from who did what and didn’t get caught to how to catch the users now.

    Reply
  8. […] That’s all for now. I’ve written plenty about steroids in the past, including last August, when I wondered why no one was wondering about Roger, and way back in October ‘06, when I mocked the press’s surprise that Clemens had been fingered in he Grimsley affidavit. I also tagged Jason Giambi a gutless punk, ripped into the Players Union for defending the players’ right to destroy their livers, lamented the fact that Jose Canseco seemed to be the only honest guy around, and talked about how Bill James compared steroids to going through a divorce. (Sort of, anyway.) […]

    Reply

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